Debuting thirty years ago today:
|Posted: 10 September 2018 at 9:12am | IP Logged | 1
The original franchise consisted of seven movies produced between 1984 and 1994. The fourth and seventh films were not to my taste at all; the fifth film was pretty good; the sixth film was reasonable; the second and third films were very good sequels which developed the characters; and in my humble opinion, the first film is one of the best US comedies of the modern era.
The first film saw dysfunctional cadets training at an academy that had relaxed its entry requirements; the second film saw those cadets graduate and head to a crime-ridden precinct to take on a gang; the third film saw the cadets head back to the academy to train the next class; the fourth film had the officers on patrol with citizens as part of some program to crack down on crime; the fifth film saw the officers take on jewel thieves in Miami Beach during a police awards ceremony; the sixth film saw the officers deal with a crimewave; and the seventh film, which was totally unfunny, saw the team in Moscow.
And then there's the aforementioned animated series. Which, to be candid, I haven't seen much of.
It felt, and it's unfair of me to say this without having seen much of it, like a cash in. The 80s was good for that (anyone remember the RAMBO: THE FORCE OF FREEDOM cartoon?). From what little I have seen of the Police Academy cartoon, it felt more like an attempt to sell toys and merchandising than anything else.
True, some cartoons have been tied in with merchandising - MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE and TRANSFORMERS are two - but they at least developed a mythology that stood on its own merits. In POLICE ACADEMY: THE ANIMATED SERIES, the characters seemed to have little in common with their live-action counterparts; and it did feel more about giving them cool gadgets, uniforms and vehicles so that lots of toys can be sold.
That's the way the cookie crumbles, I suppose. At least today, while there are no doubt cartoons heavily tied in with merchandising, they do appear to try and create a mythology and universe that can remain distinct from toy opportunities.
I suppose POLICE ACADEMY: THE ANIMATED SERIES was enjoyable in its own right. The animation seemed right for the tone. And some characters did seem true to their live-action counterparts. I just feel it could have been so much more than it was.